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Lakeside Heritage Trail
15. Administration Building
236 Walnut Avenue
Administration Building circa 1930
Administration Building 2022
The original Administration Building was built in 1879 at 222 Walnut Ave. The growing crowds of people each season necessitated the construction of a new Administration Building. In 1920, plans were drawn and construction began on a $50,000, Spanish Mission style structure that would finally be opened in 1922 after several delays. The old Administration Building was occupied by the Methodist Book Concern until it was demolished in 1954.
The new building was first called the Administration Hotel and sometimes the Auditorium Hotel. The first floor housed the Association offices, a public telephone, a Western Union telegraph office and later a postal substation. The original entry area was set up similar to a bank with two teller windows where people could purchase tickets, pay bills and complete other financial business. A separate teller window was used by the gatemen who reported and banked their receipts. A large vault was located behind the teller windows and in 1936, 50 deposit boxes were installed in the vault. Men and women also could join a social club for a “very low membership fee” and use the facility for chess, checkers, ping-pong, dartboard, pool and reading. The second and third floors had 28 hotel rooms with running water (eight with private shower baths) plus general use bathrooms.
In 1962, in response to increased visitors and the need for year-round meeting facilities, the Slack House (an adjacent wood frame building built in the 1880’s) was razed for the addition of more hotel rooms, meeting space and renovations to the older hotel rooms. The new hotel became the Fountain Inn, with its entrance on Maple Ave.
The present Administration building houses a front desk reception area, a conference room, copy room, realty office and eight administrative offices. Seven additional offices and a copy room are located on the second floor wing. The adjoining Fountain Inn has 46 hotel rooms, all with private bath and shower facilities. The entry includes a large lobby, front desk area and the Aigler meeting room. The Fountain Inn is also home to the popular restaurant Ooh La La, known for its fresh sandwiches, quiches and homemade pastry.